If you’re not sitting in front of your router right now and you’re hoping to access it remotely, this post may be of no help to you whatsoever. For obvious security reasons, it’s not recommended to commonly have a router set in a way that allows for remote access. Nevertheless, there may be a situation where you anticipate that you’ll have to log in to a router remotely, so you’ll have to set it up in advance to make this possible. Keep in mind that this is particularly dangerous if your router doesn’t have client restrictions (that is, it will basically allow anyone with enough gumption [and not enough scruples] to have full access to your router and all of its settings), so use this information with the greatest of caution! Now that we’ve got the warning out of the way and you’re determined to log in to a router remotely, here’s what you’ll need to do to in preparation for this task.
- Log in to your router.
- If you don’t have a secure password set, there’s no time like the present! Don’t do anything further until you’ve set a secure password, or you’re just asking for grief from some curious wannabe hacker kid in your neighborhood. (And they live in every neighborhood, whether you’re in New York City or Ulan Bator, so it’s just a matter of time…)
- In your Administration options, look for a tab, link, or section that will say something like “Remote Management” or “Remote Router Access.” If it’s a tab or link, clicking this should bring up a menu that will typically give you a “Turn Remote Management On” or “Remote Management Enable” (wording may vary depending on your router) box to check. (If it’s already checked, then you may have more to worry about than reading the rest of this! Changing your password is a good next step, though.) “Apply” or “Save” your settings. If Remote Management is not a tab or link, you’ll possibly see your options displayed all in one place, like so:
- Make note of the “Management Port.” By default, it’s probably 8080. This will be used when you log in to the router remotely with a colon following your router’s WAN IP address (found in your “Status” or “General Settings” menu) like so: 123.45.678.90:8080
- Now you want to make sure this danged thing will work while you’re still in front of your router and not yet remotely located. In your browser of choice, type in your router’s WAN IP address followed by the management port as described in the last step. If everything’s done correctly, you should see a prompt for entering your username and password. If this doesn’t happen, check to make sure you saved the changes made in earlier steps; try again.
- If you’re seeing the prompt and you haven’t restricted the range of external IP addresses that can access your router, you should now be able to log in to your router remotely from any other computer with an Internet connection. This is good if you don’t have any information about the connection from which you’ll be accessing your router and you only allow such access for a minimal amount of time, but ideally you would have this information and restrict unknown IP addresses from entering your system. That would be the subject of another how to; if you’re keeping things simple and only need remote access to a router for a limited amount of time, this should do the trick!